BlackBerry Classic review
Your power upgraded
The BlackBerry Classic has been released as a replacement to the aging BlackBerry Bold 9900 and in many ways it is a slightly scaled down and more affordable version of the high-end BlackBerry Passport smartphone.
The BlackBerry Classic has a 3.5” square touchscreen display which is optimised for both browsing the internet and working with documents and spreadsheets. You really have to see the square screen in action to appreciate how well it works but you can take it from me that it is a supremely good viewing platform.
The resolution on the BlackBerry Classic is 720 x720 pixels and this gives us a pixel depth of 294 ppi. Next to the BlackBerry Bold, the Classic blatantly demonstrates that there is 60% more screen space to enjoy.
Under the display is the 35-key backlit keyboard which doubles as an optical trackpad for scrolling around or positioning the cursor. There are 5 quick action keys nestled between the screen and keyboard and as you explore the design further you will notice volume keys on one side and a MicroSD card slot on the other. This enables the 16GB internal memory to be boosted by another 128GB.
The BlackBerry Classic weighs almost 20g less than the BlackBerry Passport at 178g and has a thickness of 10mm. Inside there is a 1.5GHz dual core processor and 2GB RAM.
Phone Set Up
If you haven’t used a BlackBerry smartphone before then there will be plenty to intrigue you as you setup the BlackBerry Classic. As you get used to the BlackBerry 10 operating system you will soon stumble across the BlackBerry World app store and the Amazon Appstore. This puts you in an envious position with access to BlackBerry made apps and Android apps.
Your first task should be to setup your email and add the account details for all your social accounts. Once you have done this you will find all of your messages delivered into one place, the BlackBerry Hub.
The BlackBerry Hub can be accessed with a single finger swipe giving you immediate access to your emails, texts, calls and social media updates. The clever part though is that the BlackBerry Hub will learn what’s important to you and prioritise it in the Hub.
You will also notice that you get Instant Previews and these give you a glimpse of your incoming texts and emails at the top of the screen without interrupting what you are doing. You can access the internet over 4G but if you have home Wi-Fi then this should also be included in your initial setup.
The BlackBerry web browser can handle unlimited browser tabs and it is 3x faster than the browser featured on the Bold 9900.
There are plenty of features to explore and these include productivity apps such as Documents To Go, Evernote, File Manager and Dropbox as well as navigation services offered through the pre-loaded BlackBerry Maps Application.
A smartphone wouldn’t be the same without a digital voice assistant and the BlackBerry Classic fills this position with the BlackBerry Assistant. This allows you to control your emails, calendar and contacts with voice commands and you can respond to emails, get directions or schedule a meeting using the power of voice.
BBM Video also comes pre-installed and this lets you chat face-to-face and share what’s on your screen which is incredibly useful under both business and personal scenarios.
Camera & Video
The 8MP camera offers plenty of resolution and photographs are captured with professional qualities aided by the continuous and touch to focus operation. Image and video stabilisation accompany a 5x digital zoom and 1080p video recording at 30 fps.
On the front of the BlackBerry Classic is a 2MP camera for taking selfies or making video calls. 720p video recording is possible using the secondary camera and you even get a 3x digital zoom, although its practical uses on the video calling camera are beyond me.
You may want to do a little post shot production and the BlackBerry Classic offers this through the Picture Editor and Story Maker.
The 2,515mAh battery has plenty of juice for 22 hours of use under a mixed usage scenario. If you love enjoying your media then it is possible to play music for up to 70 hours or watch videos for up to 13 hours.
Who is the BlackBerry Classic for? Basically anyone who wants something not Android to explore or professionals or smartphone enthusiast who want a cheaper alternative to the BlackBerry Passport.
Written by: Michael Brown